Cinco de Mayo, a relatively obscure day in its origin country of Mexico but here in America it has evolved into a celebration of the Hispanic culture and a time to let
Havasu Elementary Schools
Whether you're a new family to Lake Havasu or just moving across town, you'll want to know about the elementary schools. Havasu is home to six public elementary schools, two charter elementary schools and two private christian schools. All of the elementary schools offer after school programs, NOVA, kinderswim, and special education resources. I took the opportunity to go to the local elementary schools and speak with parents and the principals/staff. I got a whole new perspective on Lake Havasu's Schools, if you have a child enrolled in one of these schools they are definitely in excellent hands!!! Each of these principals was just beaming with pride for their students and our district. Schooldigger.com offers school ratings based off test scores but there's nothing like actually going in and getting first hand feedback about the schools! The Lake Havasu Unified School District has specific address boundaries for each of the six public schools, its an open enrollment school district but you have to first enroll your child in the school within your address boundary then request a transfer. A transfer is approved if there is room at the school. You really cant go wrong with any of these schools!
Starline is located on the South Side of town, an award winning school and Havasu's only A rated school! Starline is the only school that offers a gifted program, consisting of two classes- a combination 3rd and 4th grade class and a combination 5th and 6th grade class. In order to be eligible for the gifted program a student must be recommended by a teacher, then take and pass a test at the district office. Along with a gifted class Starline is also home to a self contained autistic resource program, this program allows one on one attention specific to each child's needs. The highly skilled teachers and staff at Starline are able to work with children of all ability levels.
Corey Triassi is going into her first full school year at Starline, she started working at the school at the end of the 2016/2017 school year. She is motivated and dedicated to the Starblazers and their families, communication is important for Ms. Triassi. Starline stands out and is thriving because of so much parent involvement, Ms. Triassi meets with the PTA often to go over new and exciting ideas and events. The PTA organizes many events every school year, book exchanges, scavenger hunts, spring carnivals, field day, Dr. Seuss week, quarterly staff appreciation lunches and teacher appreciation week- just to name a few! One of Starlines most popular annual events is "Grandparents Day," this event is held every year and every student is able to invited their Grandparents to school to read with them, have cookies, play games and visit. Ms. Triassi has "adopted Grandparents" for those students who aren't able to have their grandparents there. The adopted grandparents are usually staff and students dressed up as Grandparents. Nobody is left out and its fun for everybody!! Grandparents travel from all over for this event and seem to really enjoy it.
Science fairs,spelling bees and geography bees are held every year too, but Starline is known for Kid City! This event goes back as far as Ms. Triassi can remember, her nieces participated when they attended Starline many years ago. The fifth grade students are required to create a "store" and merchandise, their stores are typically made from empty refrigerator boxes and the students make their merchandise. The students are required to pay "rent" for their stores and any leftover money can be used to purchase items from their classmates. All Starline students and their families are invited to Kid City to shop, just stop by the kid city bank and pick up some "Starbucks!" Lake Havasu's mayor, police department and school board are invited to opening day of kid city. The kids really have fun with Kid City and they're learning about team work, marketing, money handling, budgeting and so much more!
A quarterly awards assembly recognizes Honor Roll,Perfect attendance and accelerated reader students. The accelerated reading program keeps track of each students reading levels and number of words read when they test, when students reach one million words read they join the "Millionaire club," they're invited to the millionaire lunch and a swim day at the aquatic center with other local "millionaires." Starline also recognizes their students who are not tardy, with a "No Tardy Picnic," families join their students on the grass in front of the school and enjoy lunch together every quarter. Ms. Triassi believes a positive atmosphere is important for enhancing the learning environment for every student. Students are able to give "bucket fillers" positive notes to fellow students. Every month at the character Ed assembly the students who show positive behavior and character are recognized. Along with Student of the week awards, students are also able to receive Allstar student of the week...that's not all!Each class is eligible for All star class awards, the allstar class is chosen by the specials teachers (art, music, pe) when classes earn this award they're able to choose from a list of fun incentives for the entire class.
There is no denying this school is an excellent school, it is home to Math Olympic, and science olympiad award winning students. Students aren't the only ones recognized for their accomplishments at Starline, the support staff has been recognized with several awards. The staff at Starline are "Guardian angel" awards recipients, the Guardian Angel award is a prestigious award only offered to staff that goes above and beyond expectations and the staff at Starline does just that in every aspect! Some of the teachers at Starline have been awarded with the "Golden Apple" award, this award was created by the k-12 community partners and local businesses.The award recognizes a person who is outstanding in his or her area of education expertise and who exhibits selfless dedication to the highest ideals of providing the best possible educational environment for their students.
Patriotic club is an after school club, open to all students. Students participating in this club are taught about the American flag, Patriotism,the Founding Fathers, the Preamble, and the Declaration of Independence. NEHS and Student council work with the school and the community to organize service projects. The yearly talent show is always fun to watch too, Starline is home to some talented kids!
Parent involvement, family oriented, open communication with staff, positive atmosphere, what more could you ask for from a school?!?! Stop by and tour Starline with Ms. Triassi- maybe give her some suggestions on a name for the new mascot!
Havasupai, an award winning, Title one, B rated school, on the North side that just seems to get better year after year! The principal here is beaming with pride, not only for his school but the entire district. Mr. Claude Sanders has been a principal at Havasupai for 13 years and is no stranger to the district, he has dedicated 28 years to the Lake Havasu Unified school district. Mr. Sanders works closely with his staff and PTSO to plan and organize events to make a difference with the school and the community. .
The Title one recognition for Havasupai allows them to utilize very unique resources and programs for the school. Free breakfast is available every day, for all of the students. After school homework help and tutoring is available for any eligible student. Student assistance program (ISAP) is available for students and their family's, a program available to the school by Interagency. Havasupai students go home with a bag of food, donated by Haven resource center, at the end of every week! Adventures in Grief is offered by a local hospice facility, their program is available for any student experiencing grief. Havasupai is also a PBIS fully implemented school and rated in the top 10% in the state for student academic growth.
Havasupai is full of highly qualified teachers and staff. Highly skilled Paraprofessionals and special education teachers dedicate their efforts into enhancing the learning environment for the special needs students. A lot of the staff have been with the school for many years, The 2016 VFW Primary teacher of the year award for Mohave county and Arizona belongs to a teacher with the school for seven years. Another teacher, with Havasupai for 28 years is the 2013 Mohave county teacher of the year- this award is presented by Arizona schools association.
Award winning students too?? Yes! Mr. Sanders does things a little differently when it comes to awards for his students. Instead of a quarterly awards ceremony, eligible Havasupai students are invited to a special lunch in the cafeteria. The lunch is brought in from a local fast food restaurant. Students are recognized weekly for exemplary behavior and character, with the "Coyote of the week" awards. The Coyote of the week award is very exciting for the students because they're given giftcards to the movie theater, Amazon and local restaurants.
Student council is offered to grades 4th-6th, they work school wide to with student events and community volunteer opportunities. Student council and PTSO are currently working together to “adopt a classroom” for Hurricane victims in Texas. PTSO works with Mr. Sanders to organize a variety of fun filled, family events! Some of the events include book fairs, spirit days, talent shows, family movie nights and an array of fundraisers, one of the most popular event is the Dr. Seuss carnival, open to the public and fun for all!!!! Read across America invites grandparents to come to the school and read with the students. This is a great opportunity for family's to join the kids and see their reading progress! The fun doesn’t stop with awards and family events, every student at Havasupai has an opportunity to be involved in homework club, spelling bees, geography bees, stem club, and Patriotic club! If you’re looking for a wonderful school, with a great,friendly staff, with endless potential- your student will fit right in at Havasupai!
"As a principal who has been in the district as long as I have, we have six wonderful schools with different personalities. Our students do wonderful at all our schools, the academics in Lake Havasu rank at the top of the state." -Claude Sanders
"I chose Havasupai for my kids because they seem to offer the most resources for children,I like that they offer free tutoring, homework club, and Good News Club, the staff at Havasupai is very kind and helpful"- Havasupai parent
Nautilus, a B rated, 2011 National Blue Ribbon, a 2013 NCEA ACT Higher Performing School, and a National Title I Distinguished School. Home to highly qualified, board certified teachers. When entering Nautilus it was obvious why they were such a highly ranked school with so many prestigious awards. The staff was very positive and high energy and so welcoming! Mr. Roger Burger may only be in his first year as a principal at Nautilus but he is not wasting any time getting to know the students and their families! He makes himself visible and available for his students, whether visiting their classrooms or playing on the playground with students. Mr Burger is no stranger to the Lake Havasu Unified school district, he was with Lake Havasu High School for 27 years!
The clubs and groups are very unique at Nautilus, American sign language club and Spanish club are both after school clubs offered to all students. Your student also has the opportunity to learn gardening skills in gardening club, The gardening club works together to maintain the Habitat pond. The Habitat pond is an outdoor setting at the school-perfect for studying!
The PTO at Nautilus does a fantastic job raising money for the school, and bringing families together with events including movie nights, book fairs, snow cone sells, and restaurant fundraisers. Highly qualified, open and honest staff, with lots of resources available at Nautilus, stop by for a tour with Mr. Burger!!!!
"The staff at Nautilus is very welcoming, we wanted a home walking distance to our childrens elementary school and we were happy to find one near Nautilus!"- Nautilus parent
Jamaica is the newest Havasu elementary school,B rated, Blue Ribbon, PBIS fully implemented school- located on the south side of Lake Havasu. Mrs. Andrea Helart is in her second year as the Jamaica principal, and has been an educator for 15 years. She keeps the atmosphere very positive, her and the Jamaica staff work really well together and focus on excellence and dedicate themselves to help each student reach their full potential. I saw first hand how dedicated Mrs. Helart is to each and every Jamaica family. Students are highly successful at Jamaica, here you will find the Tri-State Geography winner, the Elks Club drug awareness essay winner, ASU math league challenge winner- Wow Good job Crocs! It's no surprise why the Jamaica students are highly successful though, they're receiving their education from highly skilled, board certified teachers!
Mrs. Helart offers many incentives to recognize students with exemplary behavior and excellent character. Positive principal referrals are earned by students who display this behavior. The students are sent to the principal with positive principal referrals- yes you read that right, students are sent to the principal with good behavior! The referrals are then sent home with the student to be signed by the parent. When the referral is brought back signed it is placed into a drawing! Names are called at the quarterly PBIS assembly and a variety of incentives are offered for the winning names! “Compliments” is another positive geared program at Jamaica, the specials teachers (Art, PE, Music, library) recognizes the class they believe has shown the best behavior that week. That class then gets the chance to choose a fun activity!!!
At Jamaica there’s no time to be bored after school when your student can be part of performing arts club, STEM club, after school tutoring/homework help, or gardening club! The performing arts club meets after school weekly and they plan to perform a talent show at the end of the school year. Gardening club is working hand in hand with STEM club to build a garden and organize improvement projects at the school. Writers café meets through out the year then hosts an event at the end of the school year where their work is on display for their family's!
PTSO is very involved, book fairs, school carnivals, water and field days and Dr. Seuss week keep the Jamaica families busy with fun activities. PTSO works with staff and students to enhance the positive atmosphere at Jamaica. APEX fun run is an annual event that PTSO helps organize. This event not only focuses on good, positive behavior, but is also a fundraising opportunity! Jamaica has so much to offer, stop by and see for yourself!
Smoketree is a B rated, centrally located, in the island home address boundary! I didn’t have the opportunity to meet with the staff and principal at this school, but that didn’t stop me from learning all the great things offered at Smoketree! Mrs. Connie Hogard has been at Smoketree since 1983, starting as a PTSO volunteer, then a teacher and by 2004, the principal. On the Smoketree website Mrs. Hogard wrote “I firmly believe a schoolhouse is four walls with tomorrow inside…meet our faculty and highly qualified staff who are committed to helping our students prepare for a successful future”
The special education program starts with the developmental preschool attached to Smoketree. The highly qualified special education teachers work hands on with these students to fit their individual needs to enhance their learning experience.
Oro grande is a C rated, title one recognized school, on the south side of Lake Havasu. The Title one recognition has funded many new items for the school to allow them to enhance the learning atmosphere for all students, including a listening learning center, discover intensive phonics, leveled library materials, tier two reading materials, and intervention materials!
Mr. Brett Bitterman is in his first year as a principal at Oro Grande, and is quickly getting to know his students and their families. twenty nine board certified and classified staff and teachers work at Oro Grande! Oro Grandes staff is all very highly qualified and works with each individual student to meet their needs and skill levels, whether the student is excelling or needs extra resources there is something for every student at this school! An after school tutoring program is also available for students needing a little extra help!
Oro Grande is a fully implemented PBIS school. The PBIS committee created awards and incentives for students who go above and beyond with positive behavior. Students have the opportunity to receive an award individually and as a class. This school is an excelling school and Mr. Bitterman has new ideas everyday to keep the school on top!
At Oro Grande their mission is to "develop lifelong, independent learners equipped to meet the intellectual, emotional and physical challenges of citizenship in a changing world. We believe that partnerships established with students, parents staff and community will assist in reaching this mission."
Principal- Dr. Breece
2598 Starlite Drive
"Challenge without frustration"
Telesis is the only non profit public charter school for grades kindergarten through twelfth grade, in Havasu. When I arrived at Telesis I was welcomed with open arms by all the staff, Dr. Breece is the founder of Telesis and has been the leader of the school for 27 years. It was very clear that she has dedicated her life to this school, I don’t think the smile left her face while she told me about her school, the staff and the students! During my tour I was introduced to Padmaja Chava, the Data analysis director, she is responsible for tracking the progress of every Telesis student. I was taken to her data room and wow, a lot of effort was put into this room, each student is tracked by classroom, based on testing to allow the staff to see where the child should be placed to best fit their needs. Some students require intervention, others need a challenge. If students need intervention there are highly skilled teachers available in the special resource class. At Telesis they’re able to move students to classrooms that fit their skill ability, they’re able to do this because they keep their class sizes very small, a maximum of 20 students per class!
Telesis is not shy about their patriotism, on the first day of the school year, every year, the marine corps are invited to the school for the flag raising ceremony and pledge. Every morning the entire school joins together for the pledge. There is a 9/11 ceremony every year, this year the students wrote and presented essays about the folds of the American flag. The Patriotic club also meets weekly to discuss more ideas about potential events for the school and to educate students about the American Flag.
Patriotic club isn’t the only club Telesis has to offer, from STEM club to photography club there is something for everybody! If clubs don’t interest your child, maybe the variety of sports offered at Telesis will! Telesis has an excellent sports program, they have a football, basketball, baseball and volleyball team! The competitive sports are for the older students at the school but they offer recreational sports for the elementary kids. The basketball coach has organized a wheelchair basketball tournament, this event is planned for November. The National Wheelchair basketball team will be coming to Havasu to play community members, you don’t want to miss this-its open to the public!
If you're looking for a charter school, small class sizes and plenty of extra curricular options for your child, this is a great option for you- don’t forget to ask to see the gym, its bigger than you think!
Principal- Amy Hanon
3155 Maricopa Avenue
Havasu Preparatory academy, the 2016 charter school of the year award winning, AVID certified charter school! Home to grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Mrs. Amy Hanon has been the leader at “HPA” since 2011 and has been an educator for 18 years. The small class sizes at HPA allow students to have more individualized attention. The curriculum at HPA is rigorous and challenging but gives students the ability to excel and grow at their own pace while being prepared for their future. The state certified, highly qualified teachers at HPA use Arizona's College and Career Readiness Standards, innovative text, and technology resources to provide a challenging and scholastically rewarding program for all students. After school activities are offered for every age, including, PACE (Patriotic adventures in constitutional education), Chess club and "Toastmasters." Toastmasters Club meets after school, at Toastmasters students develop leadership and communication skills.
The philosophy at Havasu Preparatory Academy- all children can learn, regardless of disability. The highly qualified teachers at this school are trained to work with children of all ability levels, and diverse learning styles. Special education staff works diligently with students and their families to ensure the quality of each students education is taught at the same high standard HPA has set for the rest of the school.
HPA is a high quality school, not only with their curriculum, but with the community. At HPA it is important that their students are productive members of the community, each class is responsible for community service learning projects through out the year. In the past they have organized canned food drives, and Humane society fundraisers.
HPA sets the bar high with their standards, quality education and qualified staff working with the students, cant go wrong with this school!
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